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WestJet hires Muehlen as chief commercial officer

Canadian discounter WestJet has hired Malaysia Airlines executive Arved von zur Muehlen as chief commercial officer, a new title at the company.

The decision to hire Muehlen, who will start 2 January pending immigration approval, will help WestJet better develop a global brand, the Calgary-based airline says in a media release.

Muehlen will oversee WestJet's sales, marketing, network planning, revenue management, corporate development, partnerships and the company's vacation unit, WestJet says.

Currently, those responsibilities are managed by WestJet's interim executive vice-president of commercial Tim Croyle, who is also vice-president and general manager of WestJet's vacation unit.

Croyle assumed commercial oversight in March, when former executive vice-president of commercial Ed Sims became WestJet's chief executive officer.

WestJet transferred commercial duties from the executive vice-president role to the new CCO title to better "align with industry standards", it says.

Muehlen brings more than 20 years of commercial aviation experience to WestJet, having been Malaysia Airlines' chief commercial officer since September 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Earlier, Muehlen was Qatar Airways' senior vice-president of commercial operations, Swiss' vice-president of international sales and Lufthansa's director in China.

"We welcome Arved at this important moment in time for WestJet as we position ourselves as a premium global carrier," Sims says. "His experience leading the transformation of global aviation brands will be vital."

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